I think more will be accomplished through civil debate. Respectful discussion by adults, will teach our children how a democracy should optimally function. I voted for Elizabeth Redenbaugh in 2008 because she advocated more diversity, less poverty concentration in our public schools.
If you review the excerpt from the Star News Editorial (below) for October 17, 2008, you will see that she has been clear about the fact that high-poverty schools are much less likely to be successful. You may disagree with the need for socioeconomic balance, but Elizabeth's strongest criticism has been that she changed her position after being elected. I believe she was clear beforehand, but some citizens voted for her based on the fact that she was a Republican. There is a difference in voters being misled and being uninformed. One lesson we can learn is that it is important to do the research and not rely on party affiliation. We tell our children to do their homework and we should do the same.
Star News Editorial October 17, 2008:
Republican Elizabeth Redenbaugh, in her first run for office, has children in the New Hanover County school system. The working mother - she's a lawyer - also has spent time in the schools, as a volunteer and a PTA representative.
In an impressive interview with the Star-News editorial board, she seemed to grasp the extreme difficulty of imposing a strict "neighborhood schools" policy without having an adverse impact on the education of students from low-income households. Citing an Arizona State University study, she noted that low-poverty, low-minority schools are 89 times more likely to boast high achievement rates than high-poverty, high-minority schools.
Redenbaugh gets it: The school board has an obligation to ensure strong educational opportunities for all children, not only those whose parents speak up during redistricting meetings. Her challenge will be to help steer the board toward policies that appreciate and promote diversity when it's clear that most parents, black and white, want their children to attend school as close to home to possible.
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